Skin problems & allergies

A dog’s skin is really important in contributing to their comfort and wellbeing by keeping their body warm and protecting it from things in the environment. If they develop a problem with their skin, it can make them miserable and affect their quality of life.

The most common skin conditions we see are:

  • Skin Disease
  • Otitis
  • Allergies
  • Dermatitis
  • Atopy
  • Pyoderma
  • Aural Haematoma
  • Ear Infections
  • Wart
  • Hotspot
  • Eye Inflammation
  • Lesions
  • Skin Tag
  • Eczema


There are several signs that can help you determine if your dog has developed or is suffering from a skin condition or allergy. These include:

  • Excessive scratching and itchy skin
  • Pulling out fur or bald patches
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Dry skin or dandruff
  • Colour changes to their coat (due to saliva)
  • A poor, dull coat

Some skin conditions can develop into more serious problems if not treated as soon as possible, so as soon as you notice a change in your dog’s coat or skin, it’s important to get it checked out.


There are several things that can cause a skin condition or allergy in dogs, and quite often it has something to do with their environment, nutrition, parasites, infections or inflammation.


Fleas, ticks, mites and lice can all cause skin irritation and hair loss in dogs.


Environmental allergies are also called atopic dermatitis or atopy. It’s often caused by something a dog has been exposed to, such as pollens, moulds, or dust mites, dust and grass.


Some dogs are allergic to one or more ingredient in their diet, including wheat and certain meat proteins.

Prevention and treatment

As with all conditions, treatment will depend on the problem and its cause.

While it’s not possible to prevent all types of allergies in dogs, there are several factors that play a part and recognising the triggers can possibly help you eliminate them, and the allergy, from your dog’s life.

Otherwise, dogs will be given medicine to control the symptoms of allergies as they cannot be cured. With fungal or parasitic conditions, you need to eliminate the cause.

Keeping on top of your dog’s preventative treatment can help avoid any ticks or fleas, but it’s also important to treat your home as they can survive in carpets and bedding.

A Joii vet can help you if you’re worried about your dog’s skin or potential allergies. This is free for every Animal Friends cat and dog policyholder. Otherwise, if you notice any changes in your dog’s behaviour, or are worried they’ve developed a skin condition or allergy, visit your vet who will be able to give you a diagnosis and advise on the appropriate course of treatment.

Looking for more dog advice?

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Dog insurance can help cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your dog gets injured or falls ill.


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Animal Friends Insurance is a multi-award winning FCA-regulated pet insurer, founded in 1998 to provide industry-leading pet insurance and first-class animal care to create a better life for every animal.
As one of the UK’s largest pet insurance providers, Animal Friends works with vets, veterinary professionals, and partners pioneering the latest veterinary technology & healthcare advancements to achieve our vision.
Our policyholders have helped donate over £8.5 million to more than 800 animal charities worldwide and by educating and inspiring others to act on current events and responsible pet ownership, Animal Friends is driving positive change for animal welfare and conservation.